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Part of the Pride: My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  562 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
About a year ago, film started to circulate on YouTube(R) of a remarkable man named Kevin Richardson, an animal custodian in a South African animal park. The film showed Richardson in his day-to-day work, looking some of the world's most dangerous animals directly in the eye, crouching down at their level, playing with them and, sometimes, even kissing them on the nose--al ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, bios
 photo lions-hug-8lo8-ytgifs-o_zpszxbx2fv0.gif

Do you think that you can like a book and not like it at the same time? Well that's kind of my predicament. While I agree with some of the author's views, there are some things I don't agree with. But more on that later.

I'm sure you've heard of Kevin Richardson. Or as he's known in Africa: The Lion Whisperer. Forget the horses, whisper near the big cats. What a cool job eh? The answer, of course, depends entirely upon your personal views.

I'll start with the things I liked. Mr. Richardson's bo
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an AMAZING book!!! Kevin Richardson is definitely my new hero/role model. I read this book because I want to work with big cats when I am older, and when I heard of him I just /had/ to read his book. Kevin is really humble about what he can do, and seems like a really nice person. I am really jealous of him, and wish I had the money to go to Kingdom of the White Lion and volunteer or something. The book was REALLY interesting, and I couldn't put it down. I finished it really quickly. I h ...more
Michele Harrod
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well, it probably goes without saying that I would love this book, but particular mention has to be made for this man's unique bravery, and lack of 'ego'. These things have allowed him to break the mould of 'man overpowers nature' that far too many people adopt when they work with animals. We either try to overpower them, with the use of force or restrictive spacial access, or we remain fully removed from them, and lose the opportunity to truly interact with our earth kin : the animals that shar ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
The book is pretty monotonous and not well written. I guess I can't expect much since Kevin RIchardson is not a writer, but still it was kind of disappointing. I love his way of interaction with animals, I learnt a lot from the book not only about animals but also about wild vs captive animals and some of the misconceptions on this issue. However, I didn't like Kevin's opinion about lions kept so that rich people can go and boost their ego hunting and killing them. Liked the book, but it wasn't ...more
Angela Maher
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a must read for anyone who admires Kevin Richardson. I enjoyed the stories of his youth as much as his stories about his animal friends. The tone of the book is enjoyably conversational. I hope he brings out more books in the future.
George Holmes
I stopped reading it in the second chapter because I hadn't cared to read ab out his childhood, also that his work was in a Zoo. Call me shallow, but I want to read things like the books by Adamson's, or the Helfer's.
Pradnya Bhagat
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing fast paced read if you want to escape the realities of everyday life and enter a genuinely existing fairy tale world.

Kevin's fairy tale no more requires the most beautiful princesses and princes to make it enchanting, instead this time it's The Big Predators Lions and Hyenas stealing your heart.

The amazing relationships that Kevin Richardson has built with his animals over the years and the passion with which he expresses his understanding with his every animal (even if it has hurt
Renga Hutchinson
Very Informative and an easy fun read

I am currently working on a Fantasy novel which has lions as its protagonists and Kev's book has really helped me with character development. May his relationships with his lions continue to be numerous and prosperous! I also hope that in the future he can write an introductory segment in my novel, educating the world about the harm humanity has done to these majestic creatures and point me in the right direction to help with aiding/protecting wildlife.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put this book down.
Spent all day reading - laughing, crying, and learning.
I started watching Kevin's youtube videos and just couldn't get enough.
His story is fascinating. His experiences are incredible.
Definitely read this book.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing stories!
Mia Sills
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved Kevin Richardson and for him to release a book like this one was an absolute miracle! This book is just absolutely spectacular and just plain amazing, please read it!
Debbie Tanguay
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
true author living and raising lions in south africa-very interesting
Tammy Cease
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again. I love what he does for the animals in his care. They just don't live in cages for the rest of his life. What a blessing he is to these animals. I would love to go visit/volunteer at his sanctuary. This will be a book that I will read again!!!!
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: amimal lovers
Shelves: to-buy
In this book I headed off to my favourite country South Africa for my Around the World in 52 Books Challenge and what an adventure it was! Lions, hyenas and jaguars oh my!

A few years ago I watched a short documentary called Dangerous Companions about Kevin Richardson and his friends (lions, hyenas, giraffes etc.) I like many other people was amazed by the connection he had with them and every time I see a lion special on I think of him. So it was much to my surprise that while looking for anothe
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Jako miłośniczka kotów (tych małych i tych dużych) podeszłam do tej książki z wielką nadzieją, że dowiem, że czegoś nowego na temat tych wspaniałych stworzeń. Trochę się zawiodłam. Kevin Richardson opisywał głównie jego przygoty z lwami, hienami a jakby zapomniał o wzbogaceniu całej treści o detale mogące przykuc uwagę czytelnika. Całość jest napisana zaskakująco dobrym językiem, historie stają się barwne, ale nie przekoloryzowane. Widać, że nie pracowała nad nią tylko jedna osoba. Z czytelnicze ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
I love books about real life relationships with animals, so it gets an extra star just because of the subject matter alone. I only recently heard about Kevin Richardson and my first thought was that he was out of his mind. I have a new appreciation for him and what he is doing. I can't imagine how his wife sleeps at night though. I still think eventually he will get attacked by a lion he didn't "read right" or one whose brain has changed wiring over the years... It is phenomenal the relationship ...more
Commander Spock(Live Long and Prosper)
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Are you obsessed with big cats? Yes? GO FOR IT.
Recommended to Commander Spock(Live Long and Prosper) by: FATE. AGAIN.

I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. Oh my god.

I've reread this a million times.

And I actually have a story that comes with it...

When I was in fifth grade, my babysitter took me and my siblings to a Mexican restaurant for lunch because it was summer break and a week day and my mother was busy.

I had just gotten my new book, and was midway through chapter one, and LOOOOVING IT.

We were eating our lunch, and the waiter came by to check on us.

Waiter: "Y
Rosa Frei
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, nature
A remarkable, truly moving biography of a man who lives with lions and hyenas. It's a story about a man who does not want to tame the animals, he does not want to dominate them, but to be one of them. The book with the very accurate title, describes how he becomes a respected part of the pride, by acknowledging their rules and living by their social behaviour.

One of my favourite part of the book is, when he describes his visit to a lion farmer. These farms in South Africa breed lions for rich t
Elizabeth Macken
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I found this book to be an interesting insight into an extraordinary life. Although at times I felt the writing lacked finesse, that is to be expected, as it was written by a person who's passion is not the English language. The stories described were fascinating enough for me to look past that minor flaw, and I felt his opinions which he shares regarding lion hunting and training were very honest, and understanding of each side of the argument. Especially regarding canned lion hunting, his resp ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Of course he's known as "The Lion Whisperer" in some circles, but here Kevin Richardson takes a turn as an author. He tells his story from childhood through rebellious times as a teenager to the filming of the motion picture White Lion. The book is conversational and a breeze to read and often insightful into how Kevin thinks about animals. Perhaps most illuminating was his recalling of a trip to a lion farm where a kind of "canned hunting" happens. By the time the book is done the reader has a ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Of course I was naturally inspired to read this because of the man himself, the fact it's set mostly around the Lion Park in SA brought it closer to my heart as this was a regular family day out when I was a child, as Kevin says, it was then a place out in the bush, sadly now it is in the suburbs, so I'm pleased my time there was spent In the he more open , wilder days. This book takes you inside KR mind, his philosophy's and his childhood leading him to where he is now. It's in ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hands down, one of the best books I've ever written. I've admired Kevin Richardson for half of my life; he has been a source of inspiration with the work he does with animals. This memoir was insightful and fascinating, heartbreaking at times, confronting and intense, but what comes through strongest is Kevin's humility in the work he does and the life he lives. Let's face it: not all of us can do what he does with lions. Some might dream about it (me) but we know it is only ever going to be a d ...more
Regina Beard
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Part of the Pride is a touching and empathetic look at the life of lions through the experiences of Kevin Richardson. With humor and charm, Richardson defies common convention by developing relationships with lions as well as with other wild, predatory animals. Richardson's compassion and understanding for his pride leaps from the pages with relatable stories entwined with his personal philosophy. I read with great interest his comparisons between his relationships with animals and people, desig ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Kevin Richardson is a guy who works with lions. He works in a lion park in South Africa and has pushed the limits of what was thought possible in interacting with lions and other predators. With the help of Tony Park, he tells the story of how he went from average kid to Lion Whisperer. It's a pretty good read, but not that well written. The story jumps about a little, and sometimes he forgets to finish a story. If you're interested in animal behavior, it's good enough from that point of view. H ...more
Betsy Clark
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is an adequately written book with an extraordinary subject matter (to the animal enthusiasts that is). I may have been exceptionally keen on this because of my recent travel to Africa and many encounters with lions but this author is someone that I would love to meet. The work he has done with lions, as well as several other species of wild animals, is something people will spend their lifetimes trying to do. He has an incredible relationship with these animals and it is he who I trust mos ...more
Victor Alejandro Gregory
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have given this book 4 stars just because at times the book will grasp in it's subjects and you will feel your mind going through the thrills of his accounts talking about the lions and hyenas. Chapter one by far was my favorite, the account about tsavo was really interesting. Kevin Richardson is my hero as a zoology student. And if you're planning to become a animal trainer, wrangler or a zoologist I highly recommend this book. There's other part of this book that will make want to read more ...more
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this, although it ain't exactly literature. Fabulous subject.
The relationship the author develops with these 'dangerous' predators is unique,
but probably shouldn't be. We have much yet to learn about respecting and
communicating with other species. We are alike in more ways than we are different.
I think that is the essence of this biography. Beautiful beautiful pictures. They
alone are worth the trip to the library.
Allison Willis
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it

I tend to agree with Cory on this one. A fantastic subject but a monotonous read, and very repetitive. For all his comments that he doesn't consider himself unique- a lion whisperer- Kevin Richardson actually seems vert impressed with himself and what he does. I found the book a bit self indulgent. Disappointing because the lions are amazing. I shouldn't judge I suppose, if this was my life I would pinch myself every day how lucky I was too.
Rahma Alhajri
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my Fav books EVER.
i loved going through each line and each page as he has taken us with him to enjoy his journey and learn a lot from it.
i never wanted to finish reading it or end up the beautiful time i have while reading it so i slowed it down and kept going back through previous pages to reread some, anyways it's an amazing book that i loved reading it and helped me a lot .. so i strongly recommend it.
Jun 29, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Ever since watching YouTube videos of Kevin with his lions, I wanted to know more about him. "Part of the Pride" is a fascinating book about a man who has a special relationship with his big cats. Although a bit repetitive at times, this was still an insightful book into this man's passion, and the photos were a real bonus.
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Kevin Richardson is a South African animal behaviorist who has conducted extensive research on native animals of Africa. He has been accepted into a pack of spotted hyenas and pride of lions.

Early life

Since infancy, Kevin has loved all animals. He was breeding crickets and kept a toad called, "Paddatjie" ("Little Frog"), at the age of three.
Richardson was born in the Nightingale Clinic in Johanne
More about Kevin Richardson...

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